Are the Bills really serious about possibly drafting C.J. Spiller, or is it a well-executed smoke screen? Let's examine the issue:
Smokescreen: I feel like the Bills are in a fairly interesting position with #9: They aren't picking high enough to grab one of the blue chippers (Bradford, Suh, McCoy, Okung), and the rest of the draft is so deep that there isn't a whole lot of difference between picking at #9 and picking at #25. In normal years, some 2nd and 3rd rounders this year would be 1st rounders. Additionally, everyone in the world knows the Jaguars are looking to trade down and they pick right after us. The best way to ensure whatever team is interested in moving up comes through Buffalo instead of Jacksonville is to make it appear like we're legitimately interested in the coveted prospect (Spiller). Moreover, the Bills taking Spiller is just plausible enough to make everyone sit and think that it's a legitimate possibility.
Also, another team very interested in Spiller is the Seattle Seahawks. They pick at #6 and #14 and everyone assumes they'll go with an OT at #6. However, if they really and truly want Spiller, the Bills' interest in Spiller almost forces the Seahawks to take him at #6 because it's unlikely he'll be around at #14. Therefore, whichever OT Seattle would have taken may fall and we all know Buffalo needs an OT.
Legitimate Interest: Most people consider Spiller to be the most electric player in the draft; he's a top-notch kick returner, he's got great hands, and good vision. He's a very elusive runner, especially on the perimeter, with the ability to go the distance any time he touches the ball. Spiller's weakness is running between the tackles and it's for that reason that some people prefer Javhid Best despite his injuries. Spiller isn't the type of guy who can run up the middle for three downs and get a first down; he requires a little creative thinking offensively.
The perimeter run game is something worth discussing. It's been a fad in the NFL in recent years; the Titans with Chris Johnson employed it to a high level of success as did the Chiefs with Jaamal Charles. Basically, the team focuses less on hard running in the tackle box and more on finding ways to get the ball in outside space to their running back. For this to work, you need a running back with elite play speed, the ability to turn his pads and be in control of his body, and he has to get to the edge quickly. The question you have to ask is: Is the perimeter-oriented run game here in the NFL to stay or is it a fad like the run and shoot?
Also, our offense has few playmakers. Even if we keep Lynch, there isn't anyone that really scares opposing defenses. I can see the wisdom of adding an electric running back, even though we have needs elsewhere. Some people think we need to fill our other holes first, then focus on running back. My response to that would be that we were a 6-10 team and we need better players everywhere; we're clearly rebuilding for the future.